glossopharyngeal neuralgia

Last reviewed 01/2018

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is less common that trigeminal neuralgia. Pain follows the distribution of the glossopharyngeal nerve. It is most frequently experienced in the tonsillar area and radiates to the ear.

Recognised trigger factors are:

  • swallowing
  • chewing
  • yawning

Treatment is similar to that of other primary neuralgias:

  • identification and avoidance of trigger factors
  • medical e.g. carbamezepine - although this is much less effective than in trigeminal neuralgia
  • surgery - when other measures fail:
    • identification and sectioning of the nerve in the tonsillar fossa; the most straightforward operation
    • intratympanic resection